EBRD finances new cancer treatment centre in Georgia with loan to Aversi Pharma

By Loretta  Martikian

EBRD finances new cancer treatment centre in Georgia with loan to Aversi Pharma

A new range of treatments will become available to patients in Georgia with support from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

The Bank is providing financing to one of the leading Georgian pharmaceutical firms and health care providers, Aversi Pharma, which is planning a large-scale investment programme in oncology, advanced surgery and advanced diagnostic services in Tbilisi and the regions over the next three years.

The Bank’s €5 million loan will finance the construction of an advanced oncology centre in Tbilisi and an outpatient clinic in Telavi in eastern Georgia, as well as the acquisition and installation of state-of-the-art medical equipment for both clinics.

The construction of a modern, sophisticated centre for oncology and diagnostics in the capital, Tbilisi, will allow Georgian cancer patients to receive complex diagnostic services. The centre will benefit from the purchase and installation of cutting-edge medical equipment by retaining patients who would otherwise go abroad due to the current unavailability of certain services in Georgia. This will further increase access to high-quality medical care for all Georgians.

The second new clinic under the project will provide extensive outpatient services, diagnostics and treatment in the eastern city of Telavi, in the Kakheti region. The Telavi clinic will acquire medical equipment such as MRI, ultrasound and CT scanners.

Bruno Balvanera, EBRD Director and Regional Head for the Caucasus, Moldova and Belarus said: “We are proud to continue our successful cooperation with Aversi. This project is extremely important for the welfare of the population and will help to improve the health care infrastructure of the country. The EBRD strives to support Georgia in all aspects of its economic development. This project is also important as it fits with the EBRD’s strategy of promoting higher energy efficiency, competitiveness, innovative product development and corporate governance standards among local private companies.”

Since 2013, Georgian citizens have been covered by a state programme of universal healthcare (UHC), under which a minimum of 70 per cent of the cost is reimbursed, depending on the type of treatment. The new health care services will be available to a wide variety of patients. Advanced technology services such as MRI scans and radiotherapy treatment will be included in the UHC to a large extent.

As part of the project, the energy efficiency of existing and new facilities will increase under the EBRD’s FINTECC programme, financed by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), and under the Energy Efficiency Management Systems Programme, funded by the EBRD Shareholder Special Fund (SSF). Aversi Pharma will receive up to US$ 127,000 in grants under those programmes for improvements such as insulation, efficient heating and ventilation and installation of a building management system in hospitals.

Aversi Pharma is a leading company in the Georgian pharmaceutical and health care sectors, with 22 hospitals (576 beds in total) and about 229 pharmacies across Georgia (around a 20 per cent share of the market), including remote regions where health care services – especially advanced diagnostics and care – remain scarce.

In 2015, the EBRD provided financing to Aversi Pharma to extend an existing clinic and hospital in Marneuli (1,100m2 and 23 beds focused on maternity services) and to reconstruct and renovate the existing Infectious Diseases Hospital in Tbilisi. Both projects are expected to be finalised and fully operational by the end of 2016. Grant financing from FINTECC for US$ 137,000 was allocated for the adoption of modern energy efficiency technology.

The EBRD is a leading institutional investor in Georgia, with about €2.87 billion invested in various sectors, from energy to agribusiness. 

Since 2006, the EBRD sustainable energy investments in Georgia have totalled close to €400 million in 57 projects. This includes investments through the Bank’s Sustainable Energy Financing Facilities, energy efficiency improvements in the corporate and municipal sector and investments in cleaner energy production, such as renewable energy.